“My 12 month old is waking up at night – should I switch him from 2 naps to 1 nap? Will this help him sleep better? When can I make the transation?
In short, no you should not switch your baby to 1 nap yet. Here’s why….
In order to switch to 1 nap your toddler should meet ALL of the following criteria
- Your toddler knows how to put himself to sleep at bedtime
- Your toddler is sleeping for 11 hours straight at night
- Your toddler is between 14-18 months
If you have said YES to ALL the above then you need to look at your babies sleep patterns to see if he’s ready for the switch…..
- Does your toddler refuse to sleep for his morning nap?
- Is your toddler able to to sleep for around 2 hours for his morning nap
- When your toddler has a big morning nap does he refuse the afternoon nap?
- By the time your toddler does want an afternoon nap is it too close to bedtime?
Has your toddler been showing you some of these signs for at least a week???? If not no stress, there is no rush to switch to 1 nap,
I often find that the more alert babies are ready to make the switch around the 14 month mark whereas the more laidback, chilled babies may only switch around 18 months…
If your toddler is showing these signs then it seems like you are ready to make the big leap…..
Here’s how you can gradually transition your baby from 2 naps to 1
- Slowly push the morning nap later in 20 to 30 minute increments, i.e. start the morning nap at 10 then 10:30, until you get to around 12:30 pm.
- The nap should last 2-2.5 hours
- This will be your baby’s only nap for the day, so try to resettle him back to sleep if the nap is too short.
- Bedtime will often need to be earlier than your baby’s current bedtime during this transition
- Be open to an occasional two-nap day on a day where the first nap was too short.
- Toddlers take a few weeks to adjust to this new schedule, so be prepared to have a more cranky toddler during this sleep transition
If your toddler is not ready for the transition, but is refusing his afternoon nap then you can try cutting his morning nap to an hour so that he can build up more sleep pressure for his afternoon nap and then switch to 1 nap when he is a bit older and more ready for this big change. Remember at 12-15 months babies need around 2.5 hours of daytime sleep and about 11 hours of uninterrupted nighttime sleep